Fukushima: Nature In The Danger Zone


On the east coast of Japan sit towns abandoned by humans since 2011’s fateful nuclear disaster at Fukushima. It’s an area thought no longer suitable for life, though the animals residing there beg to differ. In this one-hour special we venture into life in a nuclear disaster zone, following an international group of experts investigating the animals who defy all odds and thrive despite the toxic landscape. Watch as we try to understand the wild, dangerous and the surprising in Fukushima: Nature In The Danger Zone.


On 11 March 2011, a 15-metre tsunami caused the second biggest nuclear accident to affect our planet. All three cores of the Fukushima Daiichi reactors exploded. Overnight, 460,000 people were displaced and unable to return, leaving their livelihoods and homes behind in deserted, frozen-in-time ghost towns.

Though they didn’t stay deserted for long.

In this one-hour special we returned, accompanied by a team of world-renowned scientists, to the hazardous nuclear zone that Fukushima wildlife have reclaimed as their own. We uncover the natural secrets of how certain animals are able to not just survive but thrive against all the odds in such a toxic environment. 

Join us as experts utilise an arsenal of trackers, satellites, drones and camera traps to observe and study the prefecture’s flora and fauna. From fearsome wild boar to the nimble Japanese field mouse, we examine what effect the radiation is having on the species that live there, from its behaviour and appearance to its genetic structure. Giving a rare, breath-taking insight into some of the greatest mysteries in nature today. 

At the end of the expedition, we add up exactly how many species are living in the shadow of Fukushima and uncover the question at the heart of our investigation:

What really happens to life after a nuclear fallout?

Production Info

Duration: 1 x 60

Year of Production: 2021